Issue of November 16, 2014

Baguio Day Anniversary Issue
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The Interruptible Load Program

Here’s a scheme that will test how far stakeholders of the power industry, consumers in particular, are willing to go to help mitigate the impacts of the power shortage bound to bug the nation a few from months now – the Interruptible Load Program or ILP.

The ILP is one of the schemes the Department of Energy came up with to address shortage of power during the summer months when demand peaks mainly due to the hot weather and supply becomes limited because of reduced water feeding hydropower plants.

It proposes that heavy loaders or entities, commercial establishments, and other institutions consuming one megawatt or more, use their generator sets at certain hours of the day instead of securing their demand from the electric cooperative covering their area of operations.

This is so the load they are supposed to secure from the electric coop could be used or transferred to other utilities needing additional power capacity.

Designed mainly for heavy consumers, the ILP poses a challenge for electric distribution utilities, which will have to convince their heavy loaders to enlist in the program.

Electric cooperatives are at the forefront of the program’s implementation. During a recent national gathering of general managers of electric coops in Baguio, an official of the Department of Energy asked the country’s power coops to initiate “de-loading” agreements with their captive customers.

The DOE and the National Electrification Administration told general managers of the distribution utilities that the country’s 119 electric coops still control the distribution of power to industries, commercial establishments, and households.

For its part, the Benguet Electric Cooperative is encouraging its heavy loaders to enlist in the ILP by entering into an agreement with the power utility.

How successfully Beneco and other coops in the region will implement the program relies on the willingness of their captive customers to participate in the effort to avert massive brownouts come summertime.

Under DOE guidelines, the electric cooperative will pay the incremental cost the participating customer suffered during the time it voluntarily disconnected from the grid.

Residential clients may also help stabilize power supply, not necessarily through the ILP, but by simply practicing basic energy conservation.

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